P & D Environmental were recently contracted to carry out a well overdue section of tree management works to one of the leat channels on the River Avon.
The scope of works required the removal of the large build-up of flood debris that had created a dam of brash and rubbish; the removal of fallen trees from the river and to pollard and prune the willows were required.
The leat channel had become heavily silted over time, due to the greatly reduced flow rates and banks of marginal plant had started to develop in what used to be a fast flowing mill race. Water had also started to become stagnant in the summer months were the flow was greatly reduced; this had also had a negative effect on the ecology.
The timber and brash where removed from the river and allowed to dry over a couple of weeks, which also allowed the silt to be washed from the branches before the timber was logged and chipped.
This work was carried out in early January and by the summer months, the leat channel showed a significant sign of recovery as the flow rate had improved. Where the winter flood water had re-profiled the Leat bed the marginal plant had begun to re grow on the edges creating a new margin fringe.
The willow trees are now managed and wild flowers are redeveloping along the banks and the new willow shoots will be cut and used to carry out live bank repairs on the banks of the Avon through the estate.